Rahul Gandhi, president of Indian National Congress party and his mother and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi are in Chennai after the party’s big victory in the Hindi heartland in what is seen as another show of opposition strength. On the occasion was the unveiling of a statue of DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi, who died in August after a long illness, the two leaders, who attended the event after an invitation from Mr Karunanidhi’s son MK Stalin, shared stage with him. Sonia Gandhi was the chief guest of the function and unveiled the statue.
Chennai: UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi unveils former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi’s statue, at DMK headquarters pic.twitter.com/hM34stQqof
— ANI (@ANI) December 16, 2018
Apparently, the function was a show of strength for MK Stalin as well as the united opposition in the south. Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh Chandrababu Naidu, who took on the task of uniting the opposition against the BJP, was also present at the occasion.
Other than Andhra Pradesh CM, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Puducherry’s chief minister V Narayanasamy of the Congress, attended the programme as well.
UPA Chairperson Smt Sonia Gandhi and Congress President @RahulGandhi pay their respects to former Chief Minister M Karunanidhi at the Kalaignar Karunanidhi Memorial, Marina Beach, Chennai pic.twitter.com/ba2eSPT3JX
— Congress (@INCIndia) December 16, 2018
Notably, thalaivar Rajinikanth, is the newest entrant to politics in Tamil Nadu, was seen sitting in the audience with another actor-turned-politician, Shatrughan Sinha.
The ties between the Congress and the DMK had been stable since 2004. The DMK, had been part of the UPA alliance, but had broken off ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections – with the result that neither party had won even one of 40 seats from Tamil Nadu.
Though the parties had broken off, but they have been stable allies since. The Congress chief Rahul Gandhi had visited M Karunanidhi during his illness and had attended his funeral.
Reportedly, the DMK chief is expected to attend tomorrow’s oath ceremonies for Congress chief ministers in the Hindi heartland.